Military Embedded Systems

Daily Briefing: News Snippets


May 09, 2008

Alice Moss

Military Embedded Systems

Daily Briefing: News Snippets

Associate Editor Sharon Schnakenburg reports on the latest embedded technology happenings

Boeing: Joining A and B

Proving that the proverbial A plus B still equals C, the Boeing Company was recently chosen to integrate A (Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System or JHMCS) into B (145 F-15E aircraft), equaling the terms of C (a $49.5 million U.S. Air Force contract to execute the integration project). Accordingly, the JHMCS integration contract comprises aircraft installation services and hardware, along with initial pilot equipment including visors and helmets. The first F-15E installation is slated for October; meanwhile, contract completion is expected in December 2010. Boeing’s is the ninth contract for JHMCS, which aims to increase pilots’ situational awareness.


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Northrop Grumman's software by any other name 

It is not the same. It's actually better, so the Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, Va. hopes. The $29 million modified contract between the Marines and Northrop Grumman Mission Systems in Reston, Va. specifies that Northrop Grumman rearchitects the Command and Control Personal Computer (C2PC) software tool. C2PC was originally developed in 1994 by Inter-National Research Institute Inc., later acquired by Northrop Grumman. It serves as client software for Global Command and Control System (GCCS), along with other Common Operating Environment (COE) systems to ensure a common view of the battlespace is shared by all users. As it evolved, C2PC has also satisfied tactical requirements in the Data-Automated Computer Terminal (DACT) and other programs operating in intermittent communication, low-bandwidth environments. New project completion is expected by September 2009, and follows previous C2PC versions 6.2 and 7.0.

Lockheed Martin and LDRA team up

Prime contractor Lockheed Martin (LM) needed software tools to assist Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) developers in achieving program software development goals. Enter safety-critical vendor LDRA, with its Testbed and TBrun tools to aid software developers in code coverage analysis, software standards checking, object code verification, and unit testing for the program. The rest, as they say, is history or just might make history: NASA's Orion CEV aims to transfer astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS), Mars, the moon, and other locations safely and replaces the space shuttle that retires in 2010. Orion CEV's manned mission debut is slated for 2014.


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Kontron picks up where Thales signs off

The high-tech world is always changing and changing hands. Case in point: Thales recently sold its Thales Computers SA subsidiary in Toulon to the Germany-based Kontron Group. Thales Computers SA holds revenues of more than €20 million and has about 100 employees; its specialty is manufacturing and designing standardized embedded boards. Meanwhile, Kontron Group is a global player in the embedded computing industry, with about 2,500 employees, revenues exceeding €400 million, and 30 percent "internal growth" in 2006, Thales reports.

DoD releases report on China's military

In compliance with the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000, the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense recently released its Annual Report to Congress: Military Power of the People's Republic of China 2007. While China's long-distance capabilities to sustain military power are presently limited, the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review Report (referenced in the new report's exec summary) revealed China "has the greatest potential to compete militarily with the United States and field disruptive military technologies that could over time offset traditional U.S. military advantages." The 50-page report reveals electronic warfare strategies to interrupt battlefield network information systems and thereby gain dominance in conflict, among other topics (see


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U.S. Army's WIN-T "Expand"s optimization contract

The U.S. Army, along with General Dynamics C4 Systems (GDC4S), recently "Expanded its Warfighter Information Network Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 2 3 TCP Performance Enhancing Proxy (PEP) contract to include Expand Networks. WAN optimization provider Expand Networks' role is to port the program's Accelerator Operating System to a WIN-T hardware platform developed by General Dynamics. Expand Networks' PEP is designed to operate in a mobile environment featuring dynamic outbound links frequently broken and created, to provide war fighters with highly efficient communications while halted or on the move. Meanwhile, WIN-T, the U.S. Army's high-speed/capacity communications network, continues to link ground-level soldiers to their commanders and the GIG.


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What's it like out there?

Space Micro is helping NASA answer that question, via its space dosimeter card recently integrated into the Living with a Star (LWS), Space Environments Testbed (SET) experiment hardware at NASA Goddard. Dr. Peter McNulty and a team of designers at Clemson University designed the hardware in 2007, and Space Micro then produced and tested the dosimeter card in accordance with space quality requirements. The technology will be used in the Dosimetry Intercomparison and Miniaturization Experiment (DIME), where several radiation detector technologies monitor the radiation dose in space. Five COTS micro-dosimeters will also be used to characterize single event effects and radiation-induced total ionizing dose, in addition to displacement damage. Within 12 months, the DIME card is slated for secondary payload launch on an Air Force booster, Space Micro reports.

Mercury rises to prime JCREW role

Mercury Federal Systems Inc., a Mercury Computer Systems subsidiary, recently signed on as prime contractor to show the U.S. Army just how the Joint Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare (JCREW) program is done, literally. The $2.5 million contract between Mercury and the Army's New Jersey-located Ft. Monmouth CECOM stipulates that Mercury develops an open-systems DSP architecture testbed and technology, to be utilized by the U.S. government for JCREW counter-IED (Improvised Explosive Device) systems research and development; Mercury has also agreed to provide systems engineering services to contractors using the testbed and to the U.S. government. Additionally, Mercury announced its selection of EW technologies supplier ITT Electronic Systems to collaborate on initial development and demonstration of the Constant Amplitude Network Waveform Adaptive Combiner (CANWAC) algorithm‚Äôs portability.

Let's figure this out

So many security tools ‚Ķ so little systems analysis, reports Joe Schlesselman, RTI's director of market development for aerospace and defense, referring to content in the Air Force's original solicitation for the "Proactive Determination of Networked Node Vulnerability" project. RTI was recently chosen for the project, initiated by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratories (AFRL), which focuses not only on automating network node vulnerability scanning, but also on analyzing the vulnerabilities' impact on the network. RTI's primary responsibilities encompass developing and researching a Data Distribution Service (DDS) to execute said security vulnerability scanning. The company plans to combine open-source technologies, mainstream commercial products, and research via security partners including Promia, Inc. and Partners ObjectSecurity LLC. Several unnamed prime contractors will also participate in evaluation and testing. The technology is scheduled for demonstration in mid 2008.

Working to receive mixed signals

Radar, communication  radar communication The days of switching back and forth between communications signals and radar signals are over, thanks to the multichannel SR-5124 signals acquisition system. The SR-5124 SIGINT recorder, recently selected by both the German Ministry of Defense and the U.S. Navy for their next-gen EW systems, can detect, store, and analyze both COMINT and ELINT signals synchronously and simultaneously. The device, produced by EONIC B.V., also allows users to integrate proprietary algorithms for data analysis into the processing flow and signals acquisition. Altera, whose Stratix II FPGAs were recently chosen by EONIC B.V., is now onboard the project as well.


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